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Dalai Lama to resign if Tibet riot violence worsens
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 1888 days ago | Wednesday, 19th March , 2008 , 01:40 [am] | International
|.|| Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in his first public remarks about the situation, accused the Dalai Lama of orchestrating riots and said his followers were trying to “incite sabotage” of Beijing’s August Olympic Games.
Chinese authorities cracked down on several days of protests inside Tibet last week. China’s government said 16 people have died in the protests in
Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader said on Tuesday if the situation veers out of control in riots in Tibet he would resign. Meanwhile despite the muted international response, street protests grow around the world against Beijing.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in his first public remarks about the situation, accused the Dalai Lama of orchestrating riots and said his followers were trying to “incite sabotage” of Beijing’s August Olympic Games.
Chinese authorities cracked down on several days of protests inside Tibet last week. China’s government said 16 people have died in the protests in Tibet, but the Himalayan country’s government-in-exile put the toll at 80.
The Times reported close to 1,000 Tibetans have been detained in two days of sweeps across the capital, Lhasa, by paramilitary police hunting down those who took part in last weekâ€™s deadly anti-Chinese riots. Sources told the Times said around 600 people had been detained on Saturday and another 300 had been picked up on Sunday.
Chinese authorities have blamed Tibetan mobs manipulated by the exiled Dalai Lama for the deaths of 13 people in the riots on Friday. Tibetan exile groups have said as many as 100 people may have been killed as troops backed by armored personnel carriers moved in to the city to quash the biggest protests against Chinese rule in 19 years.
“If things become out of control then my only option is to completely resign,” Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, told a news conference on Tuesday at his base of Dharamsala in northern India. The Nobel peace laureate, who fled into exile in India in 1959, says he wants autonomy for Tibet within China but not outright independence.
CHINA CALLS FOR TRIAL
Premier Wen defended the crackdown on Lhasaafter last week’s protests, and on neighboring Chinese provinces where copycat rioting by Tibetans erupted over the weekend, in his first remarks on the situation.
“There is ample fact and plenty of evidence proving this incident was organized, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai clique,” Wen told a news conference. “This has all the more revealed the consistent claims by the Dalai clique that they pursue not independence but peaceful dialogue are nothing but lies.”
And Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman went as far as saying the Dalai Lama should face trial.
Asked to comment, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said: “In fact, what the international community should concern itself with and should ask about is precisely what role and function he played in this serious incident of criminal violence involving fighting, smashing, looting and arson.”
He added, “I feel at least he (Dalai Lama) should be put under moral trial.”
The United Nations has proved reluctant to get involved, given Chinas considerable influence at the world body. UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on the Chinese authorities to “avoid further confrontation and violence” in his first public comments since the crackdown.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday called on Beijing to open talks with Tibetâ€™s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and the European Union said it was troubled by events there. But Russia said the Tibet crisis was an “internal matter” for China.
Western nations have called on Beijing to exercise restraint, but International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge told Reuters in Trinidad on Monday that there had been “absolutely no calls” from governments for a Beijing Games boycott.
The muted international response is in contrast to growing street protests around the world against Beijing.
In Sydney, about 100 Tibetan immigrants and supporters, many of them weeping, waved flags, photos of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, and signs calling for freedom for Tibet. They demanded that Chinese authorities stop killing their countrymen.
In Munich, Germany, on Monday, police detained 26 Tibetan demonstrators after they tried to force their way into the Chinese consulate. Chinese flags were burned and slogans including “Save Tibet” and “Stop Killing” were daubed on the consulate walls. About 150 people also held a peaceful rally in Berlin.
In London, a group of about 80 pro-Tibet demonstrators hurled placards and sticks at China’s embassy and tried to storm the building. Police said there were no injuries or arrests.
In New York, an unnamed 21-year-old man was arrested after trying to drape the Tibetan flag over a billboard above the New York Police Department’s substation in Times Square.hurriyet, Voice of a Nation